You may have spotted one or more of Jeffrey D. Katz’s children in TV commercials, shows or movies such as “Moonlight Suburbia,” “Who Killed Jane Doe?” the “Gypsy” Netflix series and “The Ralph Friedman Series.” With professional mini-actors living in his home, Katz has his hands full each day keeping up with his family’s busy schedule.
Katz is the founder and managing partner of JDKatz, P.C., an estate planning, elder law, tax law, business law and litigation law firm in Bethesda. He and his wife, Heather, will celebrate their 20th wedding anniversary in April 2022.
Washington FAMILY connected with Katz about how he maximizes the time spent with his children Kyra (age 7), Lili (13), Carli (16) and Austin (17).
What’s the hardest part about juggling parenthood and your career? What’s something that makes it easier to balance both?
The hardest part about raising four kids is that there just aren’t enough hours in the day. I am lucky to spend quality time with at least one kid each morning as I drive one of my daughters to school. Some days, I work from home and get a bonus second drive with a later arrival. I hear about all kinds of goings-on while in the car. They run the gamut from mixed sock days, wear your PJs to school day, dress like a cowboy and cowgirl and spirit days. Ironically, that’s the high school experience!
My little one likes to read books to me each day, and we take 15 minutes to catch up on the efforts of Mo Willems and Gerald the Elephant (her favorite). My son is working on his next big thing, a dot-com fin-tech to manage real estate transactions, and my 13-year-old regales me with the stories of tennis games gone awry at Holton Arms.
I think the quality of the time we spend with our kids is more important than the quantity of time that we spend. I try to make each moment meaningful, memorable and measurable. I often have a hard time disassociating myself from technology and the iPhone, but over the years, I’ve learned that work emergencies will still be there after dinner, and there’s no way to replace a missed birthday party or
I think disconnecting from the internet is a great way to achieve balance and harmony in the family. My greatest challenge isn’t turning off my device but the kids’ devices and getting them engaged in speaking and not texting. They are only little for a short time, so I really try to enjoy those magic moments when I can.
We recently enjoyed a daddy-daughter-dog day consisting of a trip to the new dog park at Park Potomac, followed by lunch at King Street Oyster Bar and custard at Carmen’s. It was an epic afternoon!
How do you celebrate the holidays with your family?
Holidays are always a special time for our family, and we try to spend them together—sleeping in, with a late breakfast or brunch is a family favorite. We travel quite a bit for our kids’ production schedules, and locally for school activities, so having downtime is a great time for our family. We like hiking on the C&O Canal with our dogs—Cookie Monster, a Newfoundland, and Tootsie, an Australian shepherd.
How have you nurtured your children’s interests in acting?
A favorite activity is watching movies in our basement. Since the kids’ film and acting career took off, we built them a little stage and an in-home theater with lighted signs and marquee where they can act out their favorite film scenes or just lay back on the couch and catch a film with their friends.